Marketing Plan 101 for Small Businesses
Marketing is crucial to the health of your business – businesses which market well are more profitable, more resilient, and of course, more well-known. However, most know little about how to market well. Below are major and basic tips that help differentiate good marketing from ineffective marketing.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY - THE 4 TIPS:
Pick your battles – don’t spray and pray
Pick the most important marketing channels and customer segments and focus on those instead of spreading yourself thin!
Know your businesses
Know your strengths, weaknesses, relationships to competitors, and unique selling proposition. This will help you craft an authentic and consistent narrative.
Tell a story
Stories are the most memorable ways to communicate information, so use them! Weave together the products, benefits, and experiences you offer, as well as your leadership’s characteristics to create a compelling narrative.
Get help and measure success
Use online marketing tools, hire marketing professionals, use SMART goals (see below), and measure key variables which help determine the level of marketing success
PICK YOUR BATTLES - DON'T SPRAY AND PAY
Choose a few marketing channels among the most popular ones:
Online: website, social media, e-mail, etc.
Physical: billboards, flyers
Other channels: television, radio, influencers
Choose your target audience:
Research to find the target audience
Conduct interviews with consumers as well as employees, use data from online marketing, and research on competitors’ customers.
Get to know them
Including their values, pain points, which marketing channels they use, etc. Here’s a worksheet you can use to conduct this analysis.
Tailor your marketing to them
Use the information you gathered to guide marketing decisions. Ask yourself, “Will our customer respond to this?” every time a new strategy is made.
KNOW YOUR BUSINESS
Do a SWOT analysis
SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Here’s a helpful guide on how to do this and here’s a worksheet to use to conduct this analysis.
Do a competitor analysis
This will help you understand the context of your business and the market in which you operate. Here’s an example on how to do it.
Find your unique selling proposition
A unique selling proposition is what you do differently compared to your competitors and why customers should choose you over others. This activity uses knowledge from the competitor and SWOT analyses. Here is some helpful information on how to go about this.
TELL YOUR STORY
Source: Golden State Marketing
Three important considerations during this process:
Everything you do crafts your story
Be consistent across all marketing platforms
Only tell the truth
MEASURE YOUR SUCCESS
Some key metrics:
Downloads and views on content
Followers and subscribers
Number of clicks and conversion rate between clicks and buying products
Make your goals and metrics “SMART”:
The more specific the goal is, the more motivated you will be to achieve. It also allows for accurate planning.
Defining key metrics that measure success toward your goal makes the goal objective and clearer.
This blog includes information from a Together for LA webinar titled “Marketing Plan 101 - New Year Strategy for Small Business,” featuring guest presenter and CEO of Golden State Marketing, Patty Ross. Watch the webinar here, and click here for a list of useful marketing tools.
For more help, contact HelpDesk@isdus.org or call (833) 473-2020.
Click here to read this information in Spanish.
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